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There are a number of factors to consider when buying a caravan. All of them incur various costs so it’s important to weigh up all of them when setting your budget.

Monthly finance

You may decide to spread the cost of your investment over a longer period. There are many fixed interest rate finance options out there allowing you to set the length of your repayment and buy your caravan outright at the end of the agreement.

Fixed interest rates mean you’ll know exactly how much you’ll have to pay each month. This will allow you to budget accordingly and you shouldn’t have to pay out large lump payments.

However, as with entering any financial agreement, you need to be in full knowledge of all the details and terms and conditions. Again, research is key before committing to any financial plan.

Insurance

Caravan insurance is optional but it is highly recommended. They are a large investment and are worth protecting.

Prices vary so it’s worth looking around for quotes from different insurers. It all depends on your caravan, the contents and how secure it is.

Investing in security measures before insuring your caravan could be a good idea because you will often get a better quote if you have high quality locks and alarms.

Maintenance and servicing

Caravan services can come in at around £150 to £250 a year but this can vary so it’s best to shop around for it. Regular checks and servicing will help keep maintenance costs down and protect your investment.

Like with cars, there is a legal standard of tyre quality on caravans. Although your caravan may be used much less frequently than your car, the tyres can still deteriorate with age. Most manufacturers recommend replacing all the tyres after 5 years, including the spare, so check their age.

If left standing in storage, the weight of the caravan on the tyres can deform the tyres and wear them out more quickly than if they were often used.

Caravan tyres can also be damaged by heat and sunlight. Depending on the model of your caravan, the tyres can range from around £50 to £100 each.

Generally taking good care of your caravan and dealing with problems as soon as they arise should keep maintenance costs down.

Fuel consumption and travel

We all know about rising fuel prices but it’s an important factor to consider when buying a caravan. When planning your holidays you would normally factor in the cost of travelling so treat fuel costs as you would a plane ticket.

Will you be able to budget for the length of caravan holiday you want?

If you’re planning on taking your caravan around Europe the cost of fuel and other transport such as ferries should be taken into account.

A large part of the cost will be determined by the fuel economy of your caravan towcar. It may be worth looking into converting the engine to LPG to save money in the long run.

Also, when buying a car remember to compare the price difference of petrol and diesel models. If you will only use your towcar for towing and occasional use, it may be more cost effective to buy a cheaper petrol model.

For longer holidays you also need to think about the amount of LPG or charcoal you’ll get through and whether you should invest in extra batteries to power your appliances if you won’t be connected to an EHU.

Storage

Depending on how often you use your caravan and the space available to you, storage is an important consideration.

If you do not have room to store your caravan or you don’t want it sitting there for months at a time you should look at storage sites, where your caravan can be stored safely.

The more secure sites will often be more expensive but you tend to get what you pay for. You should look around for sites near you with security awards or police approval. Prices do vary but between £300 and £700 a year is typical depending on the location and features of the storage site.

Sites may often charge a daily or weekly rate.

Security

Investing in appropriate security measures is very important so this should be factored in when you’re buying a caravan. There are a lot of additional measures that can be taken to ensure the security of your caravan.

The cost of these can soon add up but it’s much cheaper than replacing stolen appliances or having to buy a new caravan. Look around for prices of security items you would feel comfortable investing in.

You could be adding a few hundred pounds to your total investment however you may see some of this returned with cheaper insurance.

Be sensible

If you’re buying a caravan for the first time or simply looking for something a bit different, it’s always going to be a big investment. Taking into account all the associated costs and budgeting carefully will make the experience a lot more comfortable allowing you to get excited about your new caravan.

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